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Material Proximities and Hotspots: Toward an Anthropology of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

This resource outlines a research program for an anthropology of viral hemorrhagic fevers and reviews the social science literature on Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fevers and charts areas for future ethnographic attention. The paper suggests that attention to the material proximities between animals, humans, and objects, that constitute the "hotspot", opens a frontier for critical and methodological development in medical anthropology and for future collaborations in viral hemorrhagic fever management and control.

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Lassa fever is unheralded problem in West Africa

This resource describes primary and secondary transmission of Lassa fever and barrier nursing techniques as a means to prevent this.

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC): Viral haemorrhagic fever factsheet

This factsheet provides information on viral haemorrhagic fevers from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

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Lassa fever in West Africa: Evidence for an expanded region of endemicity

This resource presents evidence for an expanded endemicity zone between the two known Lassa endemic regions indicating that Lassa virus is more widely distributed throughout the Tropical Wooded Savanna ecozone in West Africa.

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World Health Organisation (WHO): Lassa fever

This is the WHO emergencies website page for Lassa fever.

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When the field is a ward or a clinic: Hospital ethnography

This resource attempts to demonstrate the value of deeply embedded hospital ethnography as a means to offer a new level of data with which to synthesise critical medical anthropology. The author uses this collection to showcase how hospital-based ethnographic work offers a collaborative approach in which the ethnographer, of necessity, must take into account a broader range of experiences in hospital encounters.

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The process and practice of diagnosis: Innovations in diagnostics for Lassa fever in Sierra Leone

Chapter 5 of Annie Wilkinson’s PhD thesis, provides a detailed description of health seeking behaviours for Lassa Fever in rural Sierra Leone. In this context, people interpreted and managed Lassa Fever in light of their familiarity with a wide range of other diseases, some of which were viewed as dangerous and others less so; in contexts where sickness, health and treatment were marked by uncertainty; and where hospitals were not necessarily perceived to be sites of good care.  An important insight is that people differentiated ‘big sick’ or ‘hospital sick’ from an ordinary or ‘small’ sick and it was partly on the basis of this distinction that people would choose to access care.

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Power, fairness and trust : understanding and engaging with vaccine trial participants and communities in the setting up the EVOVAC-Salone vaccine trial in Sierra Leone

In this article the authors discuss the implementation of an Ebola vaccine trial in Kambia district in Sierra Leone during and after the epidemic. They analyze the role of social science research for the development of community engagement strategies. The authors give special attention to the analysis of rumours as source of information and explanation about resistance rooted in a much deeper sociopolitical context.

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Ebola: Limitations of correcting misinformation

In this resource, members of the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform call on all organisations involved in the response to the Ebola outbreak to question the assumption that biomedicine must correct local logics and concerns, and the effectiveness of using standardised advice for non-standardised situations.

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Patients’ and healthcare providers’ perceptions and practices regarding hypertension, pharmacy-based care, and mHealth in Lagos, Nigeria

Although not focused on Lassa Fever, a recent publication on hypertension in Nigeria, provides a comprehensive review of contemporary health seeking behaviour in the country, underlining the important role that small-scale local pharmaceutical providers provide as the front line of medical care.  This study also describes what respondents call a ‘Nigerian Factor’; a reluctance to seek health care until very sick.

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